A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of the robin who had made her nest right next to my window. I’ve been watching her ever since, and a few days ago I spied four little heads peeking up. At first I was thrilled to have such an intimate look into the world of these birds, but then I noticed that I was worrying about them. Did they have enough to eat? Was the mother safe when she ventured out to look for food (first for herself and now for the baby birds too)? What would happen to the babies if…..
I realized what I was doing and what it really meant. The question I had to ask myself was, “Do you believe that the Field of Love/God/Universal Good is taking care of those robins (even better than you could, Mary) and that worry means that you lack faith?” The truth was that I was opting for “concern” over faith. I also realized that this was how I often approached areas of life that were important to me. It is fairly easy for me to trust that all is well when I don’t feel emotionally involved with an outcome, but when I do…when something is closer to my heart, then where is my faith?
It takes some effort on my part to discipline my mind away from worry. At times it feels more natural to worry than to have faith that all is (and will be) well, but really, how could it not? Most of us were raised in atmospheres of worry (at home, church and school) and were even taught that worry was what responsible, loving, people did.
It came as quite a shock to me when years ago I had the revelation that I worried about almost everything. I worried about my weight, health, what I ate, how much sleep I was getting, what I was going to wear to events, how much money I was spending, where that money would come from, what my children thought of me and how they would turn out having me for a mother, had I been good enough, my hair color, how much hair I had, wrinkles, how much lead was in the gasoline that I just purchased, how I would feel if ____ were elected president, how many pesticides were in the ground…..I could go on, but you get the point. I was living the Helen Ready song, “You and me against the world”, except it was really just me. How was I going to take care of everything in this difficult, complicated, sometimes cruel, world? How was I going to take care of and protect myself and those I loved?
It was a very odd moment when I, Mary Muncil, who had gone to divinity school, studied world religions, read hundreds of spiritual texts and attended more workshops and retreats than i cared to count, realized that I didn’t have faith…or should I say, I didn’t have faith in the Goodness, Perfection, and Wonder of this Universe. I did have faith that every “sin” would be punished, every mistake would be counted (and held against me) and that at my core, I was a flawed human being, but faith that everything was being done for me? Faith that everything I needed: ideas, openings, opportunities, money, and assistance of all kinds, was constantly being offered not only to me, but to everyone? From the moment I realized that this was the faith that I’d been searching for my entire life, I began to change.
In time, I’ve come to have faith that all is well, all is perfect (including you and me and the birds), and that all is being magnificently orchestrated by something (that I am also a part of but cannot comprehend with my conscious mind) for the good of us all.
Do I forget this? Yes, I do. But I know when I’ve done that because I notice that I’m worrying….and when I notice that, I try to gently bring myself back by saying, “All is well. I have faith that everything is being taken care of. All is well.”